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State of the Union 2013

News/Business. The president's speech describes the current condition of the country to the American people. New.

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America 33, Us 19, Washington 9, Bret 7, United States 6, Afghanistan 6, New York 4, Juan Williams 4, Marco Rubio 4, Chicago 4, Obama 4, Nina 4, Sheila Jackson Lee 3, Charles Krauthammer 3, Shannon Bream 3, John F. Kennedy 2, Bret Baier 2, United 2, Obamacare 2, Newtown 2,
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  FOX News    State of the Union 2013    News/Business. The president's speech describes the  
   current condition of the country to the American people. New.  

    February 12, 2013
    8:55 - 10:40pm EST  

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right now where bret baier and his crew standing by to set up the state of the union. take it away, bret. >> president obama's state of the union address, i'm bret baier in washington, you're looking live inside the house chamber there. tonight marks the 92nd time this annual message to congress or state of the union address has been delivered in person by a president. it's this president's fourth. there you see dr. jill biden being escorted to the box where she will sit and watch this address. we're told that the president will use this speech tonight to shift heavily to the economy, shifting the emphasis away from the broad social agenda of his second inaugural address, to focus on manufacturing and infrastructure, other investments and research and education. the house speaker today called that more spending, charged that on the issue of tackling
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the deficit and debt, quote, i don't think he has the guts to do it. he doesn't have the courage to take on the liberal side of his own party, and never has. as you see, the cabinet, i believe, those are coming into the house chamber. and basically, this is the mood. that's the mood up on capitol hill. the house speaker capturing some of that today at this breakfast. one report this week said this speech will be less a presidential olive branch than a congressional cattle prod. white house house secretary jay carney pushed back from the aggressive moniker on special report, finding out who is characterizing it more accurately. we're waiting now for the announcement of the supreme court justices to come into the house chamber. let's bring in our panel tonight, they'll be with us for the evening. juan williams, columnist with the hill.
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nina eastton, and charles krauthammer. and the house chamber filled, juan, it's a big night. what do you think of this night and what the president will say? >> well, i think the first thing to understand is how big an opportunity this is prime time. if you think back to his first inaugural, i think it was 52 million people watched. the last one about 39 million. this is a massive audience for the president and i think what you're going to see is the president try to make the pitch for his second term agenda, bret. he's got about-- the historians say about a hundred day window, really, to get anything, in terms of his legislative agenda, set for the second term and about a year and a half in total before all the congressional campaigns, mid term campaigns begin. so that's what we're going to see tonight and i think you're going to see in an unusual step go from tonight, right out to the campaign trail because he's dealing with a republican party that he feels
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is intransigent. and he's going to i think north carolina, atlanta and then on to chicago to try to build a case for his agenda going into that second term and a lot of it, and i suspect what we're going to see tonight, is about the economy, about budget. that's got to be the first thing, because unless he gets the money under control, he can't get to that second term agenda. >> these are the justices of the supreme court attending. you'll remember back in 2010 there was a big to-do about the congressional democrats criticized the court's issue back then, united campaign fund and ruling. chief justice roberts likened this whole event to a political pep rally and said it was up to each individual member in the court whether or not they attended and as you see, a number of them did tonight. i want to get back to the panel. and during tonight's state of the union speech, you can give us your reaction live in real time. correspondent shannon bream is here to explain the bing polls
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tonight. good evening, how does it work? >> if you've ever sat at your couch and wishing you could give immediate feedback to the president's state of the union address, tonight is your chance. microsoft teeming want to give you a bing poll. an online opinion tracker that allows you real time. bing.com/politics and enter your politics, independent democrat or republican and your gender, whatever the president talks about jobs control, or immigration, hot topics and click thumbs up or thumbs down and how others are voting on the site as well. we are going to track the peaks and valleys live and after the president's address was finished we'll give you the inside scoop how his remarks played along party and gender lines. bret. >> thank you, you can see the first lady, michelle obama has just arrived inside the house chamber. take a listen. [applause] let's take a moment
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and pause for the top of the hour as we continue with the special coverage of the president's fourth state of the union address. welcome to special coverage of president obama's fourth state of the union address, the first state of the union of his second term. earlier today, house speaker john boehner predicted the highly partisan speech and said this president doesn't have the guts to go against his liberal base. those two men will be facing each other shortly and just coming in now, the cabinet, as you see right now, secretary of state john kerry newly appointed to that position. obviously, the former
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democratic candidate for president, also former senator from massachusetts, now the new secretary of state. behind him secretary of defense, leon panetta who will be leaving, although chuck hagel is on the hot seat right now. he was approved out of the senate armed services committee partisan vote, 14-11 today, but the senate floor, a full vote expected sometime later this week and you see the rest of the cabinet filing in behind those two men. ed henry, chief white house correspondent is standing by on the north lawn. ed? >> reporter: and here at the white house, earlier today briefed by the president, top aides what he's going to say tonight. they're saying to me that in private the president's aides are expressing deep concerns about the economy, the recent weak economic growth, raising unemployment has sort of concerned them about the president's standing and so their goal tonight is to give
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the president talking about the middle class and get beyond the washington squabble about sequester and the process battles going on in washington, talk about the middle class. these democrats say the president will do that with some new plans and some old plans. a new one, for example, he'll talk about raising the federal minimum wage, they say from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour and they also say the president's aides are previewing he will be calling once again he something he's called for a couple of years now, 50 billion dollars in new infrastructure money and as juan williams suggested, these democratic officials say the president will be going out on the road not just this week, but they say basically for the next six weeks. the white house plan is to drive a message about the middle class. several challenges though he'll be facing tonight and beyond, number one, how he's going to pay for all of this and deal with the deficit and number two, republicans say they've heard he'll focus on the economy and other issues like health care and finally, not just the economy talking about tonight. he wants to talk about immigration, guns, other
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things. that can pull him off message, bret. >> the gun control issue seems to be a big issue, a number of members have guests, including ted nugent is in the audience from one republican member from texas. you have a number of members who brought gun right advocates and gun control advocates and it seems that the gun issue maybe a draw for news value tonight. >> reporter: no doubt about it, bret. and this is something that could split the president's party. he came out with a very ambitious agenda a few weeks ago, you'll remember, pushing both executive actions, as well as legislative actions and he's already seen some of that scaled back. the idea of pushing for a assault weapons ban seems like something the president might mention tonight, but he has a hard time getting through a republican house. what he's focusing on much more intently, as you know, is something like universal background checks, which brings a lot more bipartisan
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support, but the gun issue is important to point out as you do as well because it's not just a passionate, but something we need to watch tonight. the president is not just pushing for republicans to support some of his legislative proposals. he's going to warn republicans we're told. you've seen him much more aggressive since he's been reelected and if they don't pass them he's going to act unilaterally. and sign some executive orders on climate change and other big issues with or without them, bret. >> we saw a picture of kaitlin roy, the first grade teacher at sandy hook, elementary, in the president's box sitting alongside jill biden, we're back with the panel as you take a look at the first lady. our panel tonight, juan williams, with the hill. and nina eastston, fortune magazine and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. your thoughts on this issue. >> obama is talking about pivoting back to the economy
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and i think his main objective right now, he's got to crisis coming up. that's what's called the sequester, the automatic spending cuts agreed to in the debt ceiling deal of 2011 and make radical across the board cuts to the pentagon and spending. and the republicans decided that's the only leverage they have over obama to make real cuts in spending, which the administration has shown no inclination to do. i think what obama wants to do is to go out as one indicated, campaign in the country against the republican position. and i think he'll try to portray the republicans as he did in the campaign as protecting the rich, protecting the tax loopholes that the the rich have, the big corporations and be willing to cut from medicare, food stamps, et cetera. so his position is i represent the people, they represent ideology. i represent the folks and they he represent the rich.
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and he won the election on that kind of argument. he won on the fiscal cliff, on that kind of argument. if he came out to win the next round on the sequester, i think he will have weaken and fractured the republican house in a way that will clear the way to his being the dominant actor in washington for the next term and completed the agenda he started in years one and two that the republican house had stopped in years three and four. >> bret: susan rice, the current ambassador to the united nations talking to kirsten gillibrand, from new york. and not secretary of state, but that man did, secretary kerry and it's interesting you see all those people walking down the aisle. juxtaposed in position. >> they want to make economy and growth the and the economy
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the center of the speech. and in the inaugural address that wasn't mentioned and dwelled on meeting the liberal pace and gay rights, immigration reform, climate change, now, he says he wants to focus on the economy. last week he said he does believe in economic growth, but it has to be managed economic growth and it has to be economic growth with equity and fairness and that's why we're seeing, i think, this increase in the minimum wage, which won't necessarily create jobs, much like a tax, raising taxes on companies, it's not clear that that's going to increase jobs. and the other thing that we've seen since the inaugural address was the disbanding of his jobs council where he was bringing in business leaders to provide advice how to shrink the economy. it's quite interesting to note that when the -- when that jobs council was put together the unemployment rate was 8.3%.
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it's ticked down now to all of 7.9%, meaning not much in four years. so, that's where this president stands as he tries to make his case on the economy. >> the economy, gene spurling there, the economic advisor for the president. he was on our air talking about the economic moves that this president wants to make. juan, i just want to point out standing next to the first lady we see the shot every time we take the shot of the president's box there, is cleopatra cally pendleton. she's the parent of the 15-year-old girl killed during a shooting last month in chicago days after she had traveled to washington to be a part of the president's inauguration, so, that was a tragic story and she's now standing alongside the first lady. clearly, a number of these guests will be referenced in the speech and to make a point
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that the president wants to make throughout that's right. the one that's going to stand out in most viewers' mind is the head of google, i believe, will be there and the idea is that, i'm sorry apple, tim cook, the apple ceo. and the idea is, again, that apple is starting manufacturing here in the united states. today i was over at the white house for a briefing they had for column and they're saying we don't want this to be a one-time deal. we want it to be a trend. and i think you'll see people not only who have an emotional connection, the young lady killed in chicago, but people from newtown who were shot. >> bret: i want to stop you there, the paul irving the sergeant at arms coming out and white house photographer, like to get this audio as he introduces the president of the united states down the hall.
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hall. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [applaus [applause] >> i think you have this tradition now and people go back to when they're discussing ronald reagan having guests there and we're going to see a number of these folks with specific issues and ways to dramatize it. and the president just lost his speech writer and replaced by cody keenan, the guy who used to write for ted yesterday. and the difference is.
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>> and puts obama in a professorial mode. what kind of speech do we get. the punchy guy who republicans are concerned will be confrontational or a guy who says he hears the legislative agenda and. >> let's listen to senator funny things along the aisle. [applause] (applause)
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>> some of the lawmakers have been camped out for hours along the aisle there. sheila jackson lee is always there. and there you see senator l landrieu and they just want a moment with the the president. the and from new york, and lindsey graham getting a stop
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there. >> i don't know if he camped out there for hours or not. >> to camp out there and now works out at the fox, and gene schmidt a republican actually made a personal thing about being there your constituents get to see you interact with the president and i think it raises your stature. >> point out looking at the women senator, the biggest class of women, 20 women senators in the history of the senate, quite a moment. just to pick up on one point, it is going to be interesting to look at how this president deals with going across the divide. is he he the uniter as he was elected as or more confrontational figure that he's been recently, in 2011 right after he-- after the republicans won in the mid-term he said we need to move forward together or
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not at all. >> let me just interrupt you, this is senator mark kirk who had a stroke, from illinois. senator obama -- president obama, obviously senator obama from illinois, going over and giving him a hug. >> i was going to say in 2011 after he -- after the republicans won in the mid term and took over the house, he made a great case that we had to move forward together or not at all and even in 2012 at the start of the presidential campaign he said we need to lower the temperature and he talked about sitting next to his friend bob gates, george bush's defense secretary during the capture of usama bin laden. whether he does any of that now will be interesting to watch. . >> bret: charles, you may be happy or not to know that dan pfeiffer, communication director in terms of word cap,
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this is the president's second shortest state of the union address. the shortest in 2009. i don't know how you feel about that. >> in gratitude. (laughter) . >> bret: final word before we hear from the president. >> one thing, it's a grand owe hecation, all the branches are together. the congress, judges, military and a reason that jefferson stopped giving them in the house, gave a written stateme statement a reason for a hundred years there was a written statement until woodrow wilson began giving them in person. >> ladies and gentlemen, president barack obama, his fourth state of the union address. >> members of congress, i have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [applaus
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[applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. mr. speaker, mr. vice-president, members of congre congress, fellow americans, 51 years ago john f. kennedy declared to this chamber that the constitution makes us not rivals for power, but partners for progress. [applaus [applause]. it is my task, he said, to
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report the state of the union, to improve it is a task of us all. tonight thanks to the grit and determination of the american people, there is much progress to report. after a decade of grinding war our brave men and women in uniform are coming up. [applaus [applause]. are coming home. after years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6 million new jobs. we buy more american cars than we have in five years and less foreign oil than we have in
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20. [applaus [applause]. our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients and home owners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. [applause]. so together we have cleared away the rubble of crisis and we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. [applaus [applause]. but, but we gather here knowing that there are millions of americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. our economy is adding jobs,
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but too many people still can't find full-time employment. corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. it is our generation's task then to reignite the true engine of america's economic growth, a rising, thriving middle class. [applaus [applause]. it is -- it is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country. the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like or who you love. it is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many
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and not just the few. that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. [applaus [applause]. the american people don't expect government to solve every problem. they don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue, but they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party. [applaus [applause] >> they do expect us to forge
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reasonable compromise where we can for they know that america moves forward only when we do so together and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all. now, our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget, decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery. over the last few years both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than 2.5 trillion dollars. mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1% of americans. as a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of 4 trillion dollars in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. now we need to finish the job. and the question is how? in 2011, congress passed a law
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saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. these sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. they'd devastate priorities like education, and energy, and medical research. they would certainly slow our recovery and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. and that's why democrats, republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. now, some in congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, medicare and social security
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benefi benefits. that idea is even worse. [applaus [applause] >> yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population and those of us who care deeply about programs like medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms, otherwise our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. but we can't have senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and the most powerful. [applause] we won't grow the
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middle class simply by shifting health care or economy on families already struggling or forcing communities to layoff more teachers and more cops and more firefighters. most americans, democrats, republicans and independents, understand that we can't just cut our way to prosperity. they know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction with spending cuts and revenue and with everybody doing their fair share. and that's the approach i offer tonight. on medicare, i'm prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. [applause]. already the affordable care act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.
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[applause]. and the restorms i'm proposing go even further. we'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest people. we'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medicare because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital. they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. [applause]. and i am open to additional reforms from both parties. so long as they don't violate the guarantee of the secure retirement. our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep. but we must keep the promises we've already made. [applause].
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to hit the rest of our deficit reduction targets we shoul do what leaders in both parties have already suggested and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well off and well-connected. after all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks. how is that fair? why is this deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying making cuts in social security benefits, but not closing some loopholes. how does that promote growth? now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down
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the deficit. [applause]. we should get this done. the american people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms and more time expanding and hiring. the tax code that ensures billionaires with high powered accountants can't work the system and pay a lower rate than hard working secretaries. a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that are creating jobs right here in the united states of america. that's what tax reform can deliver. that's what we can do together. [applause]. i realize that tax reform and entitlement reform will not be
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easy. the politics will be hard for both sides. none of us will get 100% of what we want. but the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, visit hardship on millions of hard working americans. so let's set party interests aside and pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future and let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. the greatest nation on earth -- the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. we can't do it. [applaus [applause]. let's agree. let's agree right here, right
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now to keep the people's government and pay our bills on time and always uphold the full faith and credit of the united states of america. [applause]. the american people have worked too hard for too long rebuilding from one crisis to see the elected officials cause another. [applause]. now -- most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. but let's be clear, deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. [applause]. a growing economy that creates good, middle class jobs, that must be the north star that guides our efforts. [applause].
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every day we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: how do we attract more jobs to our shores. how do we equip our people with the skills they need to get those jobs. and how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living. now, a year and a half ago i put forward an american jobs act, independent economists said would create more than 1 million new jobs and i thank the last congress for passing some of that agenda. i urge this congress to pass the rest. but -- tonight i'll layout additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget frame work both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. let me repeat, nothing i'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. it is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter
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government that sets priorities and investors in broad-based growth. [applause]. that's what we should be looking for. our first priority is making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. after shipping jobs more more than ten years, our manufacturers added about 5,000 jobs over the past three. caterpillar is bringing jobs back from japan. ford is bringing jobs back from mexico and this year, apple will start making mac's in america again. [applaus [applause]. there are things we can do right now to accelerate this trend. last year we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in youngstown, ohio. a once shuttered warehouse is
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now a state of the art lab where workers are mastering 3-d printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. no reason this can't happen in other towns. tonight i'm announcing the launch of three other hubs, department of the defense and energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs and i ask this congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in america. we can get that done. [applause]. now, if we want to make the best products we also have to invest in the best ideas. every dollar we invest in to
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map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. every dollar. today, our sciences are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to alzheimer's. they're developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs, devising new materials to make batteries ten times more powerful. now is not the time to gut these job creating investments in science and innovation. now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race. we need to make those investments. [applaus [applause]. today no area holds more promise than our investments in american energy. after years of talking about it, we're finally poised to control our own energy future. we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.
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we have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar. with tens of thousands of good american jobs to show for it. we produce more natural gas than ever before and nearly everyone's energy bill is lower because of it. and over the last four years our missions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen, but for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. [applause]. now, now, it's true that no single event makes a trend, but the fact is the 12 hottest
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years on record have all come in the last 50. heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, all are now more frequent and more intense. we can choose to believe that superstorm sandy and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were just a freak coincidence or we can choose to believe in t overwhelming judgment of science and act before it's too late. [applause]. now, the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. i urge this congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change one the one john mccain and joe lieberman
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worked on a few years ago. if congress won't act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct -- i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed transition to more sustainable forms of energy and four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it and we've begun to change that. last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in america. so let's generate even more. solar energy gets cheaper by the year. let's drive down costs even further. as long as countries like china go all in on clean energy so must we. now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. we need to encourage that. that's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and
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speeding up new oil and g gas permits. that's got to be a part of the overall above plan. and i want to encourage congress that helps natural gas burn cleaner and protects our air and our water. in fact, much of our new-found energy is drawn from land and waters that we, the public, own together. so tonight, i propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an energy security front that will drive new research in technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. if a nan partisan coalition of ceo's and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. let's take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we put up with for far too long. i'm also issuing a new goal for america, let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes
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and businesses over the next 20 years. [applause]. we'll work with the states to do it. those states with the best ideas it create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make that happen. america's energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. ask any ceo where they'd rather locate and hire, a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high speed rail and internet, high-tech schools, self-healing power grids. the ceo of siemens america, brought hundreds of jobs to north carolina said if we upgrade our infrastructure they'll bring even more jobs and that's the attitude of a lot of companies around the world and i know you want these job creating projects in your district, i've seen all
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of those ribbon cuts (laughter) so tonight, i propose a fix-it first program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. [applause]. and it make sure that taxpayers don't shoulder the whole burden i'm proposing a partnership to rebuild america that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most, modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children. let's prove there's no better place to do business than here in the united states of america and let's start right
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away. we can get this done. and part of our rebuilding efforts must also involve our housing sectors. the good news is, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years. home purchases are up nearly 50%. and construction is expanding again. but even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. too many families who never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. that's holding our entire economy back. we need to fix it it. right now, there's a bill in this congress that would give every responsible home owner in america the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rates.
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democrats and republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? take a vote and send me that bill. [applause]. why would we be against that? (applause). why would that be a partisan issue? helping folks refinance? right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. what's holding us back? let's streamline the process and help our economy grow. now, these initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, housing, all of these things will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. but none of them will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs.
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[applause]. and that has to start at the earliest possible age. you know, study after study shows the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road, but today, fewer than three in ten four year olds are enrolled in a high quality pre-school program. most middle class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private pre-schools and for poor kids, who need help the most, this lack of access to pre-school education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. so tonight i propose working with states to make high quality preschool available to every single child in america. [applause].
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every dollar we invest in high quality early childhood education can save more than $7 later on by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy and even reducing violent crimes. in states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children like georgia or oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. we know this works. so let's make sure none of our children starts the race of life already behind. let's give our kids that chance. [applause].
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let's also make sure that had a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. right now, countries like germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges. so those german kids, they're ready for a job when they graduate high school. they've been trained for the jobs that are there. now, at schools like p-tech in brooklyn, a collaboration between new york public schools and city university of new york and ibm, students will graduate with a high school diploma and associates degree in computer engineering, we need to give every student an opportunity like this and four years ago-- four years ago we started racing to the top, the competition that convinced
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almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards all for about 1% of what we spend on education each year. tonight i'm announcing a new challenge, to redesign america's high school so they better equip graduates for the high-tech economy and we'll reward schools who develop partnerships with colleges and employers and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. the skills today's employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future. now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. it's a simple fact. the more education you've got, the more likely you are to have a good job and work your way into the middle class. but today's skyrocketing costs, price too many young people out of a higher education or saddle them with unsustainable debt. through tax credits, grants,
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and better loans, we've made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. but taxpayers can't keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. colleges must do their part to keep costs down and it's our job to make sure that they do. [applause]. so tonight, i ask congress to change the higher education act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. [applause]. and -- and tomorrow might administration will release a new college score card for parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria, where you can get the most bang for your educational buck. now, to grow our middle class, our citizens have to have access to the education and
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training that today's jobs require. but we also have to make sure that america remains a place where everyone who is willing to work, everyone who is willing to work hard has a chance to get ahead. our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving hopeful immigrants and right now leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. now is the time to do it. now is the time to get it done. [applause]. now is the time to get it done. real reform means stronger border security and we can build on the progress my
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administration's already made, putting more boots on the southern border than at anytime in our history and reducing illegal crossings to the lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to citizenship. a pathway that includes background checks, paying taxes and meanwhileful penalty, learning english and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally. [applause]. and real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods and attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy. [applause]. in other words, we know what
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needs to be done and as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill and i applaud their efforts, so let's get this done. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months and i will sign it right away and america will be better for it. let's get it done. let's get it done. [applause]. [applause]. but we can't stop it there. we know our economy is stronger when our wives, our mothers, our daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace and free from the fear of domestic violence. today the senate passed the violence against women's act that joe biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago and i now urge the house to do the same. [applause].
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and i ask this congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts. and finally pass the paycheck fairness act this year. [applause]. we know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day's work with honest wages. but today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earnings the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. that's wrong.
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that's why since the last time this congress raised the minimum wage 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. [applause]. we should be able to get that done. this single step with raise the incomes of millions of working families. it could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead. for businesses across the country it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. and a whole lot of folks out there would probably need less help from government. in fact, working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum
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wage to go up while ceo's pay has never been higher. here is what governor romney and i actually agreed on last year, let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so it finally becomes a wage you can live on. [applause]. tonight let's also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it is virtually impossible to get ahead. factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. inescapable pockets of poverty. urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. america's not a place where the chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. and that's why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them. and let's offer incentives to
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companies that hire americans who got what it takes to fill that job opening and have been on work so long that no one will give them a chance anymore. let's put people back to work rebuilding and making homes in rundown neighborhoods. and this year my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest hit towns in america to get niece communities back on their feet. now, we'll work with multiple lead towe ers to target resources and public safety and housing, and tax credits to business that is hire and invest and we'll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low income couples and what makes you a man isn't the ability to conceive a child, having the ability to raise one. we want to encourage that, we want to help that. [applause].
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stronger families, stronger communities, a stronger america. it is this kind of prosperity, broad, shared, built on a thriving middle class that has always been the source of our progress at home. it's also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world. tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. because of them, we can say with confidence that measured america will complete its mission in afghanistan and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al-qaeda. [applause].
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already we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. this spring, our forces will move into a support role, while afghan security forces take the lead. tonight i can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 american troops will come home from afghanistan, this drawdown will continue and by the end of next year, our war in afghanistan will be over. [applause]. beyond 2014 america's commitment to a unified and sovereign afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. we're negotiating an agreement with the afghan government
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that focuses on two missions, training and equipping afghan forces so the country does not again slip into chaos and counterterrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al-qaeda and their affiliates. today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. [applause]. it's true. different al-qaeda affiliates and groups have emerged from the arabian peninsula to africa. the threat these troops pose is evolving, but to meet this threat we don't need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. instead, we'll need to help countries like yemen, libya, somalia provide for their own security and help allies who take the fight it terrorists as we have in mali. and where necessary, through a
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range of capabilities we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to americans. [applause]. now, as we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. that's why my administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable, legal and policy frame work to guide our counterterrorism efforts. throughout we have kept congress fully informed of our efforts. now, i recognize that in our democracy no one should just take my word for it, but we're doing things the right way. so the months ahead i will continue to engage congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the american people and to the
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world. of course -- our challenges don't end with al-qaeda. america will continue to lead the efforts to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons. the regime in north korea must know, they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. provocations of the sort we saw last night will only further isolate them, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats. likewise, the leaders of the iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. [applause].
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at the same time, we'll engage russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead and meet our obligations. america must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks. now we know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mails. we know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. now, our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grids, our financial institutions, our systems.
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and we can't look back and wonder why we did nothing to the real threat to our economy. and today i signed a new executive order strengthening cyber organization increasing, and protecting standards of our security, our jobs and our privacy. [applause]. but now, now congress must act as well by passing legislation to give our government greater capacity to secure our networks and to deter attacks. this is something we should be able to get done on a bipartisan basis. [applause]. now, even as we protect our people, we should remember that today's world presents not just dangers, not just threats, it presents opportunities, to boost american exports, support american jobs and level the playing field in the growing
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markets of asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a trans-pacific partnership and tonight i'm announcing we'll launch talks on comprehensive trans-atlantic trade partnership with the european union because trade that's fair and free across the atlantic supports millions of good paying american jobs. [applause]. we also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. not only because it creates new markets, more stable order and certain regions of the world, but also because it's the right thing to do. you know, in many places people live on little more than a dollar a day. so the united states will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades by connecting more people to the global economy, by empowering women,
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by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunity to serve and helping communities to feed and power and educate themselves. by saving the world's children from preventible deaths, and by realizing the promise of an aids-free generation which is within our reach. [applause]. you see, you see america must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. i felt the power of hope last year in rangoon in burma and welcomed an american president into the home where she had been imprisoned for years and thousands of burmese lined the streets and waved flags, saying there's justice and law
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in the united states. i want our country to be like that. in defense of freedom we'll remain the anchor of strong alliance from the america, from europe to asia. in the middle east we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights and support the stable transitions to democracy. [applause]. we know the process will be me messy and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like egypt, but we can and will insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. we'll keep the pressure on a syrian regime that has murdered its own people and support opposition leaders that will respect the rights of every, and we will stand
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steadfast with israel in pursuit of security and everlasting peace. [applause]. these are the messages i will deliver to the middle east when i travel there next month. and all of this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk. our diplomates, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the united states armed forces. as long as i'm commander-in-chief we will do whoever we must to protect those who serve abroad and maintain the best military the world has ever known. [applause].
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we'll invest in new capabilities even as we produce more ways war time spending. we will ensure equal treatment for all service members and equal benefits for their families, gay and straight. [applause]. we will draw upon the courage of skills of our sisters and daughters and moms because women have proven underfire that they are ready for combat. we will keep faith with our veterans, investing in worldclass care, including mental health care for our wounded warriors. [applause]. supporting our military
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families, giving our veterans the benefits and education and job opportunities that they have earned. and i want to thank my wife michelle and dr. jill biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as served-- thank you, honey. thank you, jill. [applause]. defending our freedom though is not just the job of our milita military, all -- we must all do our parts to make sure our god-given rights are protected here at home. that includes one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy, the right to vote. [applause]. well, when any american, no
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matter where they live or what their party are denied that right because they can't afford to wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. [applause]. so tonight i'm announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in america and it definitely needs improvement. i'm asking two long-time experts in the field who, by the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for governor romney's campaign, to lead it it. we can fix in and we will. the american people demand it and so does our democracy. [applause].
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of course, what i've said tonight matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource, our children. it has been two months since newtown. and i know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence, but this time it's different. overwhelming majority of americans, americans who believe in the second amendment, have come together around common sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. [applause]. senators -- senators, senators
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of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets because these police chiefs, they're tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned. each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress. [applause]. now -- if you want to vote no, that's your choice, but these proposals deserve a vote. because in the two months since newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, have been stolen from our
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lives by a bullet from a gun. more than a thousand. one of those we lost was a young girl named hadiya pendleton. she was 15 years old. she loved fig newtons and she was a majorette. she was so good to her friends they all thought they were her best friend. just three weeks ago she was here in washington with her classmates performing for her country at my inauguration. and a week later, she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school. just a mile away from my house. hadiya's parents, nate and cleo are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen americans whose lives have been torn apart by
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gun violence. they deserve a vote. [applause]. they deserve a vote. they deserve a vote. gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek, and tucson and blackburg, and countless communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. [applause]. they deserve, they deserve a
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simple vote. our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. in fact, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges i've outlined tonight. but we were never sent here to be perfect. we were sent here to make what difference we can. to secure this nation, expand opportunity, uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government. we were sent here to look out for our fellow americans, the same way they look out for one another, every single day. usually without fan fare all across this country.
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we should follow their examp example. we should follow the example of the new york city nurse named medchu sanchez. when hurricane sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, see wasn't thinking how her own home was faring, her mind was on the 20 precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe. we should follow the example of the north miami woman named desaline victor, when she arrived to the polling place and she was told the wait to vote might be six hours and as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body aching feet, whether folks like her would have their say. and hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her because she's 102 years old and erupted and cheered when she finally put
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on a sticker that read "i voted." . [applause]. well -- that's desaline. [applause]. we should follow the example of a police officer named brian murphy, when a gunman opened fire on a sikh temple in wisconsin, brian was the first to arrive and he did not consider his own safety, he fought back until help arrived and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the fellow americans
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worshipping inside, even as he lay bleeding from 12 bullet wounds. and when asked how he did that, brian said, that's just the way we're made. and that's just the way we're made. we may do different jobs and wear different uniforms and hold different views than the person beside us, but as americans, we all share the same proud title. we are citizens. it's a word that doesn't just describe our nationality or legal status, it describes the way we're made. it describes what we believe. it captures the enduring ideas that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and of future generations. but our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others and
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that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all as citizens of these united states to be the authors of the next great chapter of our american story. thank you. god bless you, and god bless these united states of america. [applause]. president obama's fourth state of the union address lasted almost one hour interrupted 78 times for applause, facing a divided congress for a major budget battle over spending and dealing with the nation's deficit and debt and the president insisted these would not increase the deficit by a single dime, but several of the proposals tonight may face a difficult task getting through this congress. now, he proposed raising the
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minimum wage for workers from 7.25 to $9 an hour, something he didn't run on this time although in 2008 he did call for a minimum wage hike, particularly small businesses, many republicans pushed back on this saying it would lead companies to cut back and lay people off and not expand business and the president backed a 50 billion dollars program for infrastructure projects, fixing aging bridges, something he talked about doing the 787 billion dollars stimulus package in 2009 and manufacturing institutes bringing together institutions and businesses and pledging tax reform and immigration reform, something that possibly could see bipartisan support in congress, on afghanistan pledged to cut the u.s. troop presence there in half over the next year, and quote, by the end of next year, our war in afghanistan, he said, will be over. he talked briefly about the
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nuclear test in north korea and the race for a nuclear bomb in iran, but he spent more time, frankly, talking about the threat from cyber attacks, hackers threatening national security, our economy, and suggesting perhaps the issue of cyber terrorism is very real as we've been reporting here on fox news for some time. he spent the last part of the address, as you just heard, dealing with the gun issue, listing some of the victims of gun violence and their families in the audience saying each proposal deserves a vote. and then ended with the heroic stories from hurricane sandy and others. as he makes his way up the aisle here in the house chamber, giving some hugs to his cabinet members, let's bring back our panel. juan williams, of nina easton, charles krauthammer. charles, your thoughts on this state of the union address. >> i think it was a very effective address, he did what he had to do. it started with one sort of political objective, which was
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to get way out front on the sequester issues, the deadline coming up on march 1 and painting the republicans as the party of the rich, protecting loopholes and he had the middle class, medicare, all of this other stuff. important to do, he hit hard and he did it early in his speech when i presume the large audience and the rest is sort an explanation of his political philosophy. of solidarity, one citizen helping another, that's the theme, ended by describing the good deeds that's citizens had done that the essence of americans looking after each other and the heart of the speech, middle of the speech activist government which helps that solidarity, which is the glue and he talked about unbelievably sort of numerous initiatives which are all going to involve spending at a time 16 trillion dollars of debt. so he didn't look as if he's that interesting of solving the debt issue, but certainly
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wants activist government back in the game. >> bret: okay, nina? >> he posed himself as someone concerned about the debt which i think in and of itself is striking when a lot of people in his party saying that deficits don't matter, spending doesn't matter. so the change in tony thought was striking. if you're somebody who is concerned about economic growth and claims to be in most of his speeches about that, i thought there was some things not to like about this speech, raising the minimum wage at a time when unemployment is still chose to 8% is a job killer. there are lots of recycled ideas. this idea of this mortgage refinance plan. investing in infrastructure. this green energy idea that green energy sort of led to projects like solyndra. but there are some things that were, i think, were to be liked and that is his focus on trying to create a labor force for the 21st century. we also forget that there are three million jobs in this country that go vacant every
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single month. as microsoft alone, there's 6,000 jobs and tens of thousands of jobs at high-tech companies want to have foreigners fill the jobs and not focus on training american workers to be able to fill the jobs. when he talks about the manufacturing hubs, by the way, this is an idea that did come out of the high-tech industry, when he talks about that and when he talks about recalibrating this, the school system at the state level to have more kids come out with science, math, computer science backgrounds, that's extremely valuable. >> bret: sheila jackson lee getting that signature. she's still posted up. all right, juan. >> it's great to watch this because it's so interesting, and those who are politicians and are members of congress and see them there with the president and i guess they've all got a message. sheila jackson lee an autograph, but the bottom half of the mental, is trying to get the president on board
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with his initiatives. and his job was interesting, there's john lewis, the civil rights leader, his job, i think, was to try to make the argument that he is a reasonable, sensible politician that, he is not part of the intensely polarized partisanship that people around the country just loathe in washington. so, his thing tonight was if there was a catch phrase for tonight, bret, it would be we can do this. he said you can't cut your way to prosperity, deficit reduction is not an economic plan. he says he's done nothing, nina was saying to increase the deficit and a balanced approach. and some of the ideas are interesting, nina mentioned from preschool education, to high school in america, and innovation zones and fix it first for bridges, but immigration, even comes into the speech that we heard tonight. a second term agenda of saying, this is all about the
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middle class and an economic frame work. immigration's all about economic frame work. and fixes the infrastructure, making it better to do business in america. if you buy into this. then i think you put the republicans on the defensive and i think that's what the president was trying to do tonight. he focused on budget reduction today instead focused on how do we grow this economy. it did he make the environment better dealing with congress? you're getting ready for the sequester battle and the sequester battle on march 1 and for the democratic election in 2014, perhaps sweat a little bit, there are seven of them in the senate and up for reelection in red states and climate change,
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pushing some of these ideas probably don't sell that much in those states. >> you can add to that, gun control. one of the things that these red state democrats were going to go up for reelection in next year are scared to death about is precisely having to vote and here was obama saying over and over again, you deserve is vote. you want to be on the record. well, there are a lot of democrats who don't want to be on the record in all of these positions and i think he will-- i think he's looking for his legacy not looking for a senator here or there in the congress, he wants to be remembered for a man who changed america, that's what he said started with obamacare and now this litany of programs. you know, he says you can't cut your way to prosperity. this is about spending your way to prosperity. >> bret: all right. as he gets ready to leave the house chamber there, the president leaving after that speech. we'll get ready to hear from the republican response, marco rubio, and we want to update
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you on a story we've been bringing you all night on fox news channel. the fugitive lapd cop wanted in connection with the shooting spree is believed to be barricaded inside a burning cabin at big bear lake in california. it's not known whether christopher dorner is alive or dead. he never came out of that cabin. a single shot was heard inside the cabin before it was engulfed in flames. earlier he had several exchanges of gunfire with authorities this afternoon. two deputies in fact were shot. one was killed. police are not saying how that fire started at the cabin and dorner is suspected of killing three other people. he was said to be outraged at what he felt was an unjustified dismissal from the department, the lapd. and stay here with marco rubio the republican response and we're back with your response to the state of the union address, what you said on bing was very interesting. we're back in just one minute. i'm a conservative investor.
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>> continuing coverage here on fox on the state of the union address. let's return to correspondent shannon bream who is following our bing pulse and reviewing people's reactions and shannon what are you finding out. >> reporter: it's interesting, we got 12.9 million votes folks weighing in and we want to take you through the hot topics tonight. immigration, let's start with what the president said tonight in his speech. >> we know what needs to be done and as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill and i applaud their efforts. >> reporter: what was interesting here, as we tracked people who logged in by party and by gender, this was one area where nearly everyone, republican, independent and democrat coalesced and the first time and really the only time we
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saw republicans and their approval about what the president was saying, actually spike above independents and democrats, but it was the one thing that everybody really seemed to coalesce on. now, let's talk about where they didn't exactly line up by party. a bit on climate change by the president tonight. >> our missions of the dangerous common pollution that threatens our planet actually fallen, but for the sake of our children and our future we must do more to combat climate change. >> reporter: but when the president talked about issues of climate change global warming and republicans with independents and the lowest score for the president in the speech and democrats seemed to approve and independents flocked with the republicans to the lowest rating of the night for the president, clearly not coalescing on issues of climate change making it tough for the president to probably sell this particular issue and last
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thing we want to look at is gun rights. this was near the end of the speech, a bit of what the president said on that topic tonight. >> it has been two months since newtown. i know, this is not the first time this country debated how to reduce gun violence, but this time is different. >> reporter: again, this is a place we saw a big split and again, independents tracked with republicans on this, democrats seemed to approve what the president had to say and independents and republicans joining together bottoming out, not approving what the president had to say on tougher laws, bret. >> bret: shannon bream, thank you, we'll be tracking that throughout the night and head back for more reaction bing pulse. 12.9 of you voted and we're going to pause now as we hear the republican response delivered by marco rubio and it's important to notice a spanish language was
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pre-recorded the first time in two languages. >> i'm marco rubio and blessed to represent florida in the united states senate. let me begin by congratulating president obama on the second term. and tonight i have the honor of addressing the republican response for fellow republicans and the brave servicemen and women and diplomates around the world, you may be thousands of miles away, but always in our prayers. the state of the union is a reminder how unique america is. for much of human history most people were trapped in stagnant countries where minoriti minorities, and america is exceptional we believe every life at every stage is precious and that everyone everywhere has a god given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them. like most americans and for me this idea was personal.
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my parents i i parents imgrated dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. i didn't inherent money from them, but i inherited something far better the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. this opportunity to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life. it isn't bestowed on us from washington. it comes from a vibrant, free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business, and when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or start another business and create jobs. and presidents in both parties from john f. kennedy to ronald reagan have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity, but president obama, he believes it's the cause of our problems, that the economic down turn happened because our government didn't tax enough, spend enough or control enough
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and therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more, and spend more. this idea that our problems were caused by a government that was too small, it's just not true. and in fact, the major cause of our recent down turn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies, and the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hard working middle class taxpayers, that's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried. more government isn't going to help you get ahead, it's going to hold you back. more government isn't going to create more opportunities, it's going to limit them, and more government isn't going to inspire new ideas, and new businesses and new private sector jobs, it's going to create uncertainty. because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that small businesses can't afford to follow. because more government raises taxes on employers, who then pass the costs on to their
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employees, to fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs. and because many government programs that claim to help the middle class often end up hurting them. for example obamacare, was supposed to help middle class american afford health insurance, but now some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with and because obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employe employees, now many of these companies aren't hiring and not only that forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers. now, does this mean that there's no role for government? of course not. it plays a crucial part in keeping us safe, enforcing rules and providing some security against the risks of modern life, but government's role is widely limited by the constitution and it can't play an essential role when it ignores those limits. there are valid reasons to be concerned about the president's plan to grow our government.
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but anytime anyone opposes the president's agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives. when we point out that no matter how many job killing laws we pass, our government can't control the weather, he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air. when we suggest we strengthen our safetiness programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled fend are for them he selves and tonight criticized us for refusing to raise taxes for military cuts, cuts his idea in the first place and the fact that those of us who don't agree with him, that we only care about rich people. mr. president, i still live in the same working class neighborhood i grew up in. my neighbors aren't millionaires. they're retirees who depend on social security and medicare. they're workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. they're immigrants who came here because they were stuck
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in poverty in the country where the government dominated the economy. the tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families and cost them their raises, cost them their benefits and may even cost them their jobs and it will hurt seniors because it toss nothing to save medicare and social security. so, mr. president, i don't oppose your plan because i want to protect the rich. i oppose your plan because i want to protect my neighbors, hard working middle class americans who don't need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. they need a plan to grow the middle class. economic growth is the best way to help the middle class, unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012. but if we can get the economy to grow in just 4% a year, it would create middle class jobs and it would reduce our deficits by almost 4 trillion dollars over the next decade. tax increases can't do this. raising taxes won't create
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private sector jobs and there's no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost 4 trillion dollars. that's why i hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy. one of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. of course, solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio, but god blessed america with abundant coal, oil and natural gas and instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called clean energy companies like solyndra, let's open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration and reform our energy regulations so that they're reasonable and based on common sense. if we can grow our energy industry it will make us energy nment. it will create middle class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like china. simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class because it will make it easier
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for small businesses to hire and grow. now, we agree with the president we should lower our corporate tax rate one of the highest in the world so companies will start bringing their money and jobs back here from overseas. we can also help grow our economy if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the word's best and brightest. we need a responsible permanent solution to the problem of those here illegally, but first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past, to secure our borders, and enforce our laws. helping the middle class grow will require an educational system that gives people the skills that today's jobs entail and tomorrow's knowledge will require. we need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced vocational courses and career training and give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs the opportunity to send the children to the school of their choice.
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because college tuition has grown so fast we need to change the way we pay for higher education. i believe in federal financial aid. i couldn't have gone to college without it. but it's not just about spending more money. it's also about strengthening and modernizing them. the 21st century work force should not be forced to accept 20th century education solutions. to understand's students aren't only 18 year olds, they're returning veterans, they're single patients decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage and their workers have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained. we need student aid that does not discriminate against programs nontraditional students rely on like online courses or degree programs that give you credit for work experience. when i finished school, i owed over $100,000 in student loans. a debt i paid off just a few months ago. today many graduates face massive student loans. we must give students more information on the costs and
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benefits of the students loans they're taking out. all of these measures are key to helping grow the economy and we won't help sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve our debt problem. every dollar government borrows is money that isn't invested to create jobs and uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren't hiring. the president loves to blame the debt on president bush, but president obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight. the real cause of our debt is that our government is suspending 1 trillion dollars more than it takes in every year that's why we need a balanced budget amendment. the biggest obstacle to balancing the budget are programs where spending is locked in. one of these programs is medicare, it's especially important to me. they provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately to die with dignity and it pays for the care my mother receives right now.